Hidden Feature: Weather Forecast

One of our favorite hidden features at Travelindicator is the weather overview for all your saved destinations in myTI. Once you have registered an account with us and saved some places as must-see, should-see or might-see destinations, you get to see the weather prediction over the next two weeks for all of those saved destinations in one handy overview.

When we say weather prediction, what we really mean is the interval of the maximum temperature in a given destination over the next two weeks. So if the lowest predicted maximum temperature is 18℃ and the highest is 25℃, we will tell you that you can expect the temperature to fall anywhere in between those.

So how does that look like? Well, like this:

weather at travelindicator

weather at travelindicator

 

Our Search Results Present A Wealth Of Information

Overview of Travel Indicator search results

Take a good look at the above image, which is the layout of a standard search result here at Travel Indicator. It's quite obvious that it gives you a thumbnail of the destination, a description and a price, but what does it all really mean? Let's get into some of the things that may not be immediately obvious, shall we? From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Thumbnail with indicator of current price level - As you might know we download hotel prices every few hours for all destinations where those are available, and compute an average nightly hotel rate from that. Based on that you can see that staying in city X will, on average, be cheaper than city Y. What's more, the red or green button hovering over the thumbnail shows you whether the location is currently (i.e. 2 weeks from now) cheaper or more expensive than it has historically been. You can imagine London at Christmas being significantly more expensive than it is during September, for instance!

2. Tags - If a destinations scores more than 50% on a certain theme, we tag it with that and show it at the end preceded by a #. Click on these to see more destinations matching this theme.

3. Similar and nearby places - We link to this from the destination overview pages itself, but also straight from the search results. Let's say Barcelona shows up in your results and you love it but have already been there, so you're looking for something similar. Just click the "[Similar]" link and we'll present you with the 25 closest matches.

4. Current relative price level - +102%. We store the average hotel price on daily basis and compare each destination's current price to it's historical levels. In the [102%+] you see above, you can see that Perast is currently twice as expensive as normal! You might want to pick another time to go.

5. Saved destinations - We have saved the above location as a "must-see". For you it might be none at all, or maybe a might-see or should-see. In any case, once you save it, this flags it in our search results.

6. Historical average and current temperature - 13°C and 4°C-10°C. We know what the weather has historically been in a place and show you the monthly average. But in addition to that we show you the actual range of maximum temperatures for the next 14 days. Above you can see that actual weather is slightly cooler than what it has historically been in Perast.

7. Historical rainfall - 165mm. Self explanatory.

8. Altitude - 365m. Self explanatory.

9. Distance to you - 7287km. This is based on the home city that you have selected.

10. Cost - €180 and €801+. The first is the current hotel cost. The latter is the estimated return travel cost from your city to this destination based on Rome2Rio.

Weather Forecast, Altitude And % Price Changes

I have been busy in the past weeks - in preparation for taking a while off as I am about to become a father! - and have added 3 new features to Travelindicator that I believe will be very useful to our users going forward. They are: weather forecast, altitude and percentage price changes. Let me explain how they work and what their use is.

Weather forecast - Right from the start we have incorporated historical average temperatures and precipitation for every month of the year and every location. That gives a pretty solid idea of what the weather should be like when booking a long-term holiday, however for the shorter term it does not really suffice. Using data from openweathermap.org we now source expected maximum temperatures for the coming 14 days for every location. We take the lowest and highest (maximum) temperatures in the range and show you that in the results overview. You can also sort any page with results by forecast 14 day temperatures from low to high and vice versa.

Altitude - Not entirely sure how useful this will be, but it completed our static information for each location. In the results overview we now show you the altitude for every location, and needless to say you can filter on altitudes low to high or high to low. Apparently the highest places we currently incorporate are Mont Blanc, La Paz and Uyuni.

% price changes - As you know we source average hotel rates from Expedia on daily basis. As we store these prices, we thought it might be useful to give you an indication of how far above or below average a currently stated rate is. You can see these on the location pages below the nightly hotel rate. This for instance tells us that - as of writing - Madrid is 16% above its historical average rate. Do note that the averages are calculated from the moment we start incorporating them in the database. For most of the locations this will be about half a year to a few months.

Introducing Presets

We are hard at work to improve Travel Indicator. Better performance, more locations, better compatibility with mobile devices, and so on. One part of the functionality of this website that we have so far not discussed are the "Presets" which you can load in the menu above.

Just to recap, you probably already know that we have the regular search functionality (accessible from the Home page) which gives you the ability to filter out any specific holiday criteria that you may be after. For instance if you are after a holiday with some adventurous element, mountains and beaches with warm temperatures within a 1000 kilometer radius, this is your spot to start closing down on places.

Next to the normal search we have the themes. Here you will find all locations that score 60% and upwards on a specific theme like adventure, romance or history. If you for instance think of Rome, you would obviously associate that with history. We want to aggregate other places like these under a single header. Note that once here, you can still filter on weather and distance.

Then there are the surroundings, which are a kind of themes as well but more focussed on the surroundings and environment of a place. Summarising, again for scores of 60% and higher, whether a place has beaches, forests, mountains, etc. For instance, if you consider a location like Boracay, it is pretty much a given that you associate it with beaches. We wanted a convenient way to group all of these places together, and the themes are it.

Finally, allow us to introduce the presets, coming in 18 different flavours as shown below this post. The idea behind the presets is basically to give you suggestions on holiday combinations that might appeal to you. In a sense adding some extra granularity to the themes and surroundings, and often combining them, or combining them with the weather. Give them a try: